Almost 50 percent of Firehouse World attendees downloaded the show’s mobile app.
Event organizers are racing to launch mobile applications, but adoption rates often struggle to live up to the hype. That’s not the case for Cygnus Business Media’s b-to-b tradeshow Firehouse World—about 50 percent of attendees at the most recent event downloaded the Firehouse World mobile app, which has helped event planners enhance the tradeshow experience for exhibitors, attendees and themselves.
“We knew going in that there was a high usage of smartphones among our universe,” says Ed Nichols, Cygnus’ vice president of Public Safety & Security Events. “We were happily surprised with the result—42 percent of overall attendance downloaded and used the Firehouse World app.”
The event saw its adoption rates increase due to its marketing efforts that alerted individuals of the app’s existence. The Firehouse group sent e-mail blasts, conducted social media promotions through Facebook and Twitter, included house-advertisements in its print magazine, QR codes on materials, and online banner ads. Almost all of the signage on site at the show also was branded to alert attendees to the app.
“Speakers also opened and closed their presentations with, ‘If you have not downloaded this app you can do that,’” says Nichols. “The challenge I find with the show directories is early deadlines—they inevitably lead us to having erroneous information. With the app, we’re able to make changes and update in real time. The on-site show guide, we think, attributed to some of the downloads.”
The iPad application for Firehouse magazine included banner ads that alerted readers of the event mobile app for Firehouse World and information about it.
“We had information about the show, a complete exhibitor listing, as well as an interactive map of the show floor where folks could zoom and see where booths were,” says James Capo, director of digital business development for Cygnus. “There were basic and advanced listings. Basic listings in the app’s show guide included booth location, company name and contact information. Advanced listings provide the ability to insert videos about products and a downloadable PDF as well so exhibitors don’t have to print out as many materials.”